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LC
Locust Finch Ortygospiza locustella

Justification
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Distribution and population
This species occurs southwards from south-east Cameroon (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2005), Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (P. Hall in litt. 2003), through Zambia (where widespread (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2005, P. Leonard in litt. 2005)), Angola, Tanzania, Malawi (where widespread and locally common in the Central Region (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2005)) and Mozambique, to Zimbabwe (where it is uncommon, but may be overlooked) and Botswana (V. Parker in litt. 2003). Recent observations, in need of confirmation, have located at least two pairs breeding on the Jos Plateau in northern Nigeria, representing a very significant range extension (P. Hall in litt. 2003). In Zimbabwe, the moist habitats that it requires still remain, but may be insufficient to sustain a viable population (V. Parker in litt. 2003). In Mozambique and Zimbabwe it occurs only at a handful of localities within its supposed range (V. Parker in litt. 2003). The range may have contracted as a result of droughts in the 1980s, and populations may fluctuate in response to rainfall (Harrison et al. 1997).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as generally uncommon or locally common (Clement 1999).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Ecology
This species may be outcompeted by the Quail Finch O. atricollis in some suitable habitat in Mozambique and Zimbabwe (V. Parker in litt. 2003).

Threats
This species may be threatened by the cagebird trade and by loss of marshland habitat (V. Parker in litt. 2003), partly due to fire in dry periods (P. Leonard in litt. 2005).

References
Clement, P.; Harris, A.; Davis, J. 1999. Finches and sparrows. Christopher Helm, London.

Harrison, J. A.; Allan, D. G.; Underhill, L. G.; Herremans, M.; Tree, A. J.; Parker, V.; Brown, C. J. 1997. The atlas of southern African birds. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Pilgrim, J., Ekstrom, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Ortygospiza locustella. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/07/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Estrildidae (Waxbills, grass finches, munias and allies)
Species name author (Neave, 1909)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 729,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change